One in seven of the farmers who voted for President Trump in 2016 would not vote for him today, according to a poll released on Monday. The escalating trade war was leading cause of erosion of support for Trump among a staunchly Republican group. But a majority still support him: 60 percent would vote for him now vs. 75 percent in 2016.
Congress "is falling short when it comes to food policy, showing little progress" this year, says Food Policy Action, established in 2012 as the food movement's voice in Washington. In releasing its annual scorecard of members of the House and Senate, the group said the average score was 49 percent, down from the 57 percent average of the two-year 114th Congress, which ended in 2016.
Third-term Rep Rodney Davis, a Republican member of the House Agriculture Committee and an early critic of the 2010 school lunch reforms, has a Democratic challenger for 2018, says Roll Call. A lawyer and former House staff worker, Erik Jones, has entered the race against Davis in the Republican-leaning district in downstate Illinois.
Conservative groups have written a letter to U.S. lawmakers calling on them to cancel programs started under the Obama administration to lower greenhouse gas emissions in the military. The groups argue that the programs “are likely to undermine military readiness by diverting scarce resources.”
Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA, told reporters he would like to see a televised debate on climate change led by scientists, though he didn’t mention how they would be selected, says Reuters. "There are lots of questions that have not been asked and answered (about climate change)," said Pruitt.
Enrollment in food stamps, the premiere U.S. antihunger program, soared after the 2008-09 recession, prompting conservative lawmakers to say middle-class taxpayers could not afford the program. With the economic recovery, CBO estimates food stamp participation this year will be the lowest since 2010 and will decline annually through 2027.
The first Republican elected governor of Georgia since Reconstruction is backing a key operative in the campaign, John Watson, in a four-way fight for Republican state chairman. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue endorsed Watson in an email that began circulating on Wednesday, saying, "I do not think there is anyone better prepared or positioned to lead our party organization to continuing victories."
Conservatives intent on reversing the Obama administration’s climate-change legacy are angry that EPA chief Scott Pruitt hasn’t gone further. They’d like to see him try to reverse the “endangerment finding” that provides the legal framework for the Clean Power Plan and other climate-change policies.
Fulfilling a signature promise of his campaign, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and "to repatriate illegal aliens swiftly, consistently and humanely." More than one-half of farm workers are believed to be undocumented; the largest U.S. farm group said lawmakers might be more willing to discuss immigration reform if border security is strengthened.
Two Republican-held House seats in the heavily agricultural Central Valley of California could be ripe for picking by Democrats if voters are riled by GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's criticism of Hispanics and immigrants, says the Los Angeles Times. Rep. David Valadao, a member of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees USDA and FDA funding, represents a district that is 71 percent Latino, and Agriculture Committee member Jeff Denham has a district that is 26 percent Latino.